“The Highballers’ self-titled album is full of high energy indie-rock with a healthy does of country ache and alt-whatever ‘tude in the same vein as The Knitters and X and other West Coast bands. It’s great to hear this kind of cowpunk coming out of the D.C. area. If you ever get the chance to catch these folks live, do yourself a favor and do it. They will remind you of what Saturday nights are for.”
“The Highballers - It's been a long time since I've seen one of the finest area honkytonk, country & WESTERN bands, and it's high time I see them at Gypsy Sally's...The band employs loads of skill and style in making this music so easy to grab on to...They can hold their own with anyone on any stage and even have enough glitter on their guitars to work with Billy Zoom. Even if this genre is not at the top of your list (and it's not for me), you owe it to yourself to see a great band like this as they offer up great songs that link the wide array of rock'n'roll styles that hold the universe together... or just come out, let your hair down and have fun.”
“The present Highballers with their CD Soft Music And Liquor High from 2013 country music with sweet harmonies that meld perfectly with the twang of Fender Telecasters. This DC-based band from Washington, in the footsteps of The Knitters, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Singers Victoria Patchen and Kendall Jackson reminiscent of classic country and punk duos Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris and Exene Cervenka and John Doe. The band does not fit into the dull and unsuspecting factory prefabricated music from the Nashville music industry that most people wrongly associate with country music. The Highballers make music with country and Americana influences mixed with a touch of punk.”
"The Highballers returned for round two with more of the same kick-ass alt-country. While the band felt more traditionally country in their first album, The Highballers is rockabilly through and through..."
“Producer Don Zientara builds everything up from a solid rhythm section base and adds Sean Lally's vital guitar to give the songs their much appreciated dose of Tele twang.”
“Here’s the bottom line. The Highballers can play well. They can write well. There’s not a bad song on the record, which is a rare and wonderful thing these days. This is a great record.”
“If you like crunch with your twang; if you think it’s a crying shame that Hank Williams Sr. never lived long enough to don a Nudie suit; if you think the ultimate gig would be Johnny Cash fronting The Bottle Rockets – or Uncle Tupelo at their cowpunkiest – then you, my friend, need to listen to The Highballers.”
“Bringing some Washington, D.C., twang to Atlanta for the first time on Sat., Feb. 22, the Highballers fit right in with the storied Redneck Underground. The group sounds as good as it looks, with songs steeped in a high-energy honky-tonk tradition, and a little punky snarl thrown in to boot. Add the near-perfect boy-girl harmonies and some super chicken pickin’ and you have a band that brings authenticity and adoration for the electric roots of country music to the stage.”
“And now their new, self-titled release, features more good country rock from the country’s capital. Yeah, these guys are based in Washington, D.C., which surprised me when I first heard them last year. This new album is full of upbeat, fast-paced country rock tunes, with both male and female vocals.”
“If you’ve never seen The Highballers live, trust me on this. They are on the short list of the most entertaining live acts in DC today, and they only continue to get better with every show I’ve seen.”
“Alt-Country outfit The Highballers is one of the most energetic bands you’ll see live, and whether your music tastes fit with its style or not, the group’s performance will turn you into a believer. There’s no better time than this show to catch this animated group, as it will also be The Highballers’ CD release show.”
“The Washington DC based band is back with a new self-titled CD and plenty more songs of drinkin', unruliness, and remorse plus great guitar work and vocal harmonies.”
“These local bar room stomp specialists have done quite well in a relatively short time and are back with another fine album to lay claim to the most foot stomping, beer swilling country honky tonk rock band to walk the streets of DC.”
““Rockabilly, bluegrass and blues and loud rock and roll. People stuck around for the whole night.” (Photo Gallery)”
“Everything is crisp and flowing tonight, as these guys have their class and form at their highest level to date. And I review a lot of albums by bands like this and these guys do it better than all but the best of this field. So it is no surprise they pull in the crowds they do.”
"Think that good, classic country music can’t originate from inside the Beltway? Well listen to The Highballers’ Soft Music and Hard Liquor and prove yourself wrong."
“In this sea of straight-laced politicos that is Washington D.C., there are those who row madly and melodically against the current. They aren’t afraid to turn up the volume and rock-country-style. They dare to let their suits shine and their guitars sparkle.”
“This is exactly the band you hope to stumble upon in some dive bar along the highways in the south. Except these guys are actually based in the nation’s capital.”
“The most captivating part of the Highballers’ sonic texture is Victoria Patchen, who adds harmony and backup vocals behind frontman Kendall Jackson’s twangy croon.”
“The Highballers debut album Soft Music and Hard Liquor’s anachronistic-on-purpose sound is a healing salve for those who perceive corporate country to be anathema to the genre’s best respected and most organic roots.”
“This is Americana rock music with great balladry with gutsy heart-worn-on-sleeve songs that do not head anywhere near pretension like many other post-Springsteen bands to remain nameless. There is a touch of Smithereens, John Doe, Sadies, and many other bands in the history of rock'n'roll here.”
“The Highballers, are sitting on a brand spankin' new album of original songs that pretty much reflect that lifestyle. Soft Music and Hard Liquor is a collection of classic honky tonk, rippin' guitar, and subtle harmonies that work as much today as in the past”
“Songs about hard-drinking, crime, sex, heartache and the seamier side of life comprise the core of The Highballers’ music. The band’s sweet savory harmonies meld flawlessly with the twang of Fender telecasters. The Highballers’ brand of country can’t be pigeon-holed into one type of sound; their music is rough and tumble and at the same time can be evocative and haunting. The musicians deliver gnarly blues as well as blazin’ get-out-of-town honky-tonk.”
"(Victoria), You’ve been described as the “perfect fit” for The Highballers. In addition to having an incredible voice and “despite your perfectly coiffed appearance,” your band-mates say your sharp wit coupled with your ability to keep up with all the rough-edged guys in the group makes you ideal for the ensemble. When you and Kendall Jackson perform together you’ve been described as reminiscent of such classic duos as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, and Exene Cervenka and John Doe."
"But they all bring their influences together in a rousing set of honkytonk rock'n'roll. They call it country, but that does not really describe it...They exude a fun attitude as well and it is hard to enjoy this and not get pulled into the rhythm of it all. The crowd was enjoying the night, as many wanted one last night of their long weekend. The Highballers delivered the goods."
"They said they had a low-down sound and that came out as gnarly blues rock--thick and deep with piercing lead guitar runs and dual male/female vocals...The second song moved into a psychobilly terrain which was not as fast as say a Gun Club, but had a nice Sadies feel to it...Fans of the really assertive roots bands like the Knitters or the Sadies will eat this music up. "
“All show a love for country music as well as for elements of punk, garage rock, rockabilly and other influences which they have blended into something that feels right for them and with enough twang to make it appeal to country music fans the world over. It's not the 50/60s retro fitted sound that some bands use. Rather it's a template that's been tried and tested right back to the early eighties and with numerous bands who took their lead from Rank 'n' File and Jason and The Scorchers, but one that is still valid.”
“The Washington-based Highballers -- (Kendall) Jackson, Victoria Patchen on vocals, Sean Lally on guitar, Michael Barrientos on bass and Drake Sorey on drums -- do their own version of country, which Jackson describes as "dirty country" -- the type he listened to growing up in New Orleans.”
"If Jackson writes great songs, the Highballers are the perfect band to play them...But it's also true that the Highballers are an exceptionally strong band. They are doing so well because they are all so good... The Highballers are a great band on the brink of wider success...Now is the time to see them live."
“The east coast classic rock’n’rollers The Highballers are one of the first groups to release a record in 2013. Their new record “Soft Music and Hard Liquor” (release date January 12, 2013) reflects the roots of rock music. They rolled into the studio, filed into the sound room, set the 2-inch tape rolling, and let it rip. The album sounds like... them. A roots rock group with a simple, proven roots rock album strategy.”
“Then I saw The Frampton Brothers, another Pittsburgh act, and was really wowed by the energy and creativity of the Midwest music scene (Oddly enough, Sean Lally, Highballers guitarist extraordinaire, was a Frampton Brother). Other than getting lost every time I drive through the city (so many bridges!),”
“The Highballers embrace old-school country in their debut album. Lead singer Kendall Jackson's bourbon-smooth vocals and witty lyrics place The Highballers in good company with many of country's greats.”
“Off their latest EP, Under Covers (released Jan ’12), this track combines everything that is serene and dark about country music. The pace is calm throughout, the riffs non-intrusive, so you get that classic country feel that you can swing on a hammock to. Yet, the lyrics themselves at times were both haunting and evocative, going into the depths and heartbreak of infidelity. There’s ying and yang in this song, which is admirable, and mirrors a similar sound to tracks by Lou Reed.”